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Sally Thorne: From Canberra to Hollywood

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From writing in Canberra’s House of Stories to directing a Hollywood movie adaptation, bestselling author Sally Thorne is a rising star.

Some may know Sally from her 2016 debut novel, The hate game, which follows the thorny and passionate workplace rivalry between good girl Lucy Hutton and tall, dark and hostile, Joshua Templeman.

The hate gameThe success of this novel saw the novel named in the Washington Post’s Top 20 Romance Novels of 2016 and was one of ten finalists in the Romance category of the Goodreads Choice Awards.

However, growing up in Weston Creek, Sally never imagined her writing career could reach such heights.

As a kid, I would have been amazed if this job was an opportunity to write books and create things for a living is pretty darn cool, ”she says.

Sally was thrilled when The hate game was quickly opted for a film adaptation, which is currently in production in Los Angeles. Directed by Peter Hutchings and with Pretty little Liars’Lucy Hale and Fantastic islands, Austin Stowell, Sally says it’s a dream come true.

I have never waited so long for a movie in my life! I wasn’t able to visit the person there but got a visit to the Zoom set and met the stars, who were so enthusiastic and lovely. I saw the team at work: set designers, wardrobe managers, actors and stagehands.

“The timing of the shoot meant it was a miracle they were able to shoot at all, and they were rigorously COVID safe on a closed set. It is an honor to write something that inspires a screenplay, then employs a large number of people to work in their own dream jobs.

However, Sally is also on new and exciting things, with her third novel.Second first impressionsin bookstores now.

Another infallible success in the novel genre Second first impressions is a fascinating combination of a retirement village, tattoos and turtles?

Ruthie Midona works at the front desk at Providence Retirement Villa, and just as she begins to think about getting back into the dating world, she is taken for a little old lady by a gorgeous man on a motorbike, ”says Sally. “Teddy Prescott is the son of the developer who recently acquired Providence, and he needs a job and housing until he decides on his next move. But will he choose to stay and defend Providence against his developer family or will he float in the breeze again?

Don’t pretend you’re not intrigued.

Sally walked us through her writing process, saying it takes her 18 months to two years to develop, write and polish each of her novels.

There are a lot of people involved in publishing a book, and I’m just one member of that team! I never forget what she says, adding that if she chooses to write outside her beloved home office in Tuggeranong, the home of Canberra stories, the National Library of Australia is her first choice.

Regularly accompanied by co-author Delia the purebred pug and her four-legged friend Louie the horse, Sally enjoys roaming the natural landscapes of Canberras when she’s not up for something new in a creative way.

I love that Canberra is surrounded by green spaces and bush, it’s a nice lifestyle. Getting some fresh air every now and then is important for writers!

As Sally chooses to take each day as it comes, fans will be happy to hear that she is working on a fourth creation, which she assures readers will be romantic, weird, funny, spooky and unexpected.

But in the meantime, grab a copy of Second first impressions and keep your eyes peeled for the highly anticipated release date of The Hating Game movies.

Photography: Katie Saarikko



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